Investigators Charge 10 In Connection With Cheating At Columbus Casino
Ohio authorities shared the results of a month long investigation at the new Columbus casino on Wednesday.
Despite the state of the art security and more than a thousand “eyes in the sky,” authorities said people are trying to cheat at the Hollywood Casino Columbus.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said the investigation involved the unlawful conduct of 10 gamblers.
"Thieves will go to where the money is, and a casino is a likely place," said O'Brien.
The suspects were charged with cheating, by "capping" or "pinching" bets, which means they tried to add or subtract to their bet once the outcome of the game was known, but before the dealer paid off the patrons.
"People are trained to warn folks, and in some instances one fellow was warned repeatedly and yet continued to cheat. And all these people, upon confrontation, many of them admitted that they were cheating," said O'Brien.
However, the mother of one of the accused men told WBNS-10TV that her son claimed he was a first time player and didn't know what he was doing.
O'Brien and the Ohio Casino Control Commission said that Arthur S. Murray, of Reynoldsburg, was charged with five counts of cheating at blackjack; Paul Shapiro, of Columbus, was charged with three counts of cheating at roulette; Terrance Ferguson, Columbus, was charged with eight counts of cheating while playing craps; Thomas Collins III, Pickerington, charged with six counts of cheating while playing craps; Andre L. Tibbs, of Columbus, was charged with seven counts of cheating at blackjack; David Kim, of Columbus, was charged with two counts of cheating at baccarat; Ming Wu, of Lewis Center, was charged with five counts of cheating with baccarat; Mohamed Farah Waes, of Reynoldsburg, was charged with 10 counts of cheating at baccarat; Ammar Z. Hanbali, of Hilliard, charged with 10 counts of cheating at poker; Metin Karasalih, of Canal Winchester, was charged with three counts of cheating at blackjack.
As those from the Ohio Casino Control Commission put it, stealing from the casino is stealing from the state in tax revenue.
"These are revenue dollars that are supposed to come back to our counties and our cities and our schools, so we take it very seriously," said Karen Huey, Ohio Casino Control Commission Director of Enforcement.
Investigators said the cases were separate and unrelated to each other. The crimes were all committed between Oct. 15 and Nov. 8.
Hollywood Casino Columbus opened last month as the third of four casinos opening in the state after voters approved them in 2009.
In July, Cuyahoga County announced the state's first prosecution of alleged casino cheats in a case involving suspects at the Cleveland casino.
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